Daily Express


- MACER HALL Po­lit­i­cal Ed­i­tor European Politics · Politics · Civil Rights · Human Rights · Society · Boris Johnson

IN a som­bre 10- minute broad­cast from Down­ing Street last night, Boris John­son painstak­ingly set out his ar­gu­ment for his new bar­rage of re­stric­tions.

The Prime Min­is­ter is fac­ing in­creas­ing dis­sent from a grow­ing num­ber of Tory MPs and busi­ness lead­ers con­cerned that this ap­proach threat­ens to sti­fle eco­nomic re­cov­ery and ex­ces­sively curb civil lib­er­ties.

His ad­dress, recorded ear­lier yes­ter­day, calmly dis­sected claims, warn­ing that fail­ure to act now with a bal­anced pack­age will spell far worse re­stric­tions in fu­ture. Mr John­son strove to make clear his lat­est mea­sures are not a re­turn to lock­down.

He also took head- on the claims that sim­ply shield­ing the most vul­ner­a­ble would be enough to over­come the virus.

Speak­ing be­side a Union flag, this was Mr John­son at his most states­man­like, draw­ing upon the coun­try’s deep tra­di­tions of pa­tri­o­tism and col­lec­tive en­deav­our.

He hailed the over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity for do­ing the right thing dur­ing the lock­down but warned too many of our coun­try­men and women are fall­ing short.

He also struck a per­sonal, con­fes­sional tone. With his hands clasped be­fore him on a desk­top, he ac­knowl­edged his feel­ings of con­flict be­tween his lib­er­tar­ian in­stincts and the need to tem­po­rar­ily curb the na­tion’s free­doms for the pub­lic good.

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